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    How to Win on Walmart Marketplace

    10 minute read
    by: Jonathan Herman
    How to Win on Walmart Marketplace

    Walmart is the number two ecommerce retailer. Its strength comes from its massive physical footprint and logistics machine, its reputation as a trusted retailer — built up over many years — and its commitment to better serving shoppers with continual digital innovation and investment.

    Table of Contents

    Walmart Marketplace offers brands an opportunity to grow sales and market share by reaching new shoppers with less competition. Learn about the basics and benefits of Walmart Marketplace, as well as best practices to find success as a seller.

    What Is Walmart Marketplace?

    Walmart Marketplace is another means of product distribution owned and operated by Walmart with 110 million monthly online visitors. Instead of selling through a traditional wholesale relationship to Walmart, when you sell on Walmart Marketplace, you're selling directly to consumers.

    To a consumer, there's no difference in the shopping experience. For brands, there's no selling in bulk to a category buyer. Instead of shipping "pallets," you're shipping "eaches." While Walmart processes shoppers' payment, it's your responsibility to manage and support the rest of the order process, including shipping and handling, customer service, exchanges, and returns.

    Walmart is looking to build relationships with sellers who "provide first-class customer service, a compelling product assortment, competitive pricing, and fast, reliable fulfillment."

    Walmart Marketplace for Sellers

    Selling directly to consumers is all about building a relationship with them. But it can be hard to stand out and get their attention. Walmart Marketplace offers an alternative to Amazon for brands trying to differentiate themselves from competitors and grow sales and market share. Walmart's marketplace has around 50,000 sellers, 30% percent of which were added this year.

    While Amazon designed its sign-up policy to get as many sellers into the marketplace as quickly as possible, Walmart took a different approach. Selling on Walmart Marketplace requires an approval process designed to ensure that only the sellers with a good fit for Walmart can sell.

    In a recent Salsify webinar, “How to Build a Winning Walmart Marketplace Strategy,” Alicia DeFinis, director of partnerships for Walmart Marketplace, highlighted the reason for this process.

    “The number one thing we're concerned about is customer trust. We want to make sure that all the sellers we have are providing legitimate products and that we have very low rates for fraudulent or counterfeit activity. We are keeping a very high bar for sellers, so you will be in good company when selling on," DeFinis said.Chart of new sellers joining Walmart Marketplace by month from Jul 2019 to Jul 2020.

    Source: MarketplacePlus

    An Ample Opportunity to Reach Shoppers

    With less competition, there’s an ample opportunity to reach shoppers more easily, half of whom are homeowners with a medium-to-high household income. A third of them are millennials. And half are families with kids, according to DeFinis.

    Not only are there fewer sellers, but you can also stand out with product content. Rich media, also called below-the-fold content, enhanced content, and A+ content on Amazon, includes content assets like images, videos, comparison charts, and more.

    Enhanced content can increase your conversion rate by 10% across most categories, according to Salsify research. Additionally, top-performing products on Walmart use rich media 35% of the time, while bottom-performing products only use it 6% of the time.

    How Do I Get Started Selling on Walmart Marketplace?

    Walmart private label, brands, small businesses, and individuals all sell on Walmart Marketplace. Walmart and Shopify’s integration will encourage many of the one million businesses selling on Shopify to join. What sets Walmart Marketplace apart from Amazon’s third-party marketplace is its intentionality in selecting sellers. The process is relatively fast and efficient, but makes sure that Walmart brings only the best sellers for Walmart’s shoppers.

    There are five steps for brands to start selling on Walmart Marketplace:

    • Step 1: Request approval to sell, and once approved, look for an invitation to set up your Walmart Marketplace seller account.
    • Step 2: Sign the retailer agreement with a Walmart representative.
    • Step 3: Complete your seller profile and connect your payment account.
    • Step 4: Choose an integration method, add your items, and test orders.
    • Step 5: When you’re ready, Walmart does a final review, and then you can start selling.

    Learn more about Walmart Marketplace in the FAQs.

    Walmart Marketplace Selling Best Practices

    Walmart expects its sellers to meet certain performance standards, including selling competitively priced, high quality products, delivered with best-in-class fulfillment and customer service. Here are three key areas to keep in mind when crafting your strategy to sell on Walmart Marketplace.

    Ensure Products Are In-Stock

    While anyone can apply to be a seller on Walmart Marketplace, what will set you apart is continuously keeping your products in stock. Using services like Salsify’s inventory and order management can help prevent stock-outs.

    Streamline the Fulfillment Process

    Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS) can also help alleviate the stress of the order fulfillment process while also giving you access to the TwoDay Delivery program. Products using WFS see a 50% lift in conversion.

    “When you enable the TwoDay program and include your items, free TwoDay delivery tags are added to your listings. These attract a lot of attention, increase buy box wins, and drive more sales,” DeFinis said.

    Meet Walmart Product Page Requirements 

    Update your content to meet Walmart’s product page requirements. Failing to do this can cause Walmart’s algorithm to make your products less visible in search results or even get them unlisted.

    It can be tempting to try to “copy and paste” from your product listings on other sites. Instead, set your brand up for success with a tailored strategy for Walmart Marketplace.

    Remember these best practices when setting up your product pages on Walmart Marketplace:

    • Display high-quality product pages, regularly updated with the freshest, most compelling brand and product content, including rich media.
    • Keep your products in stock with smart inventory management to prevent “stock-outs” that harm your page ranking.
    • Continually meet product listing requirements to maintain and improve your page rank.

    Win With Walmart Marketplace

    “Salsify can make [signing up] a really easy plug-and-play process, and you can go live in a matter of days if you're an existing Salsify customer,” DeFinis said.

    “If you're [just] getting started with Salsify, you'll work through the integration with them, and then with us, and we'll work to make it as seamless as possible. Overall, we see sellers go live in as little as two days,” she said.

    Salsify offers a centralized approach to selling on marketplaces, including Walmart Marketplace. With the Salsify CommerceXM platform you can centralize product content and listing data into a single source of truth. It also helps brands take control with inventory and order management, create rich media at scale, activate content, and get it live on Walmart Marketplace.

    Walmart Marketplace can help you capture new routes to market to grow sales and market share. Control product assortment, pricing, and margins. Test emerging products lines more easily. Collect first-party consumer data to enhance your products and relationships with shoppers. These benefits are essential for winning on Walmart Marketplaces and the digital shelf.

    Watch our on-demand webinar to walk through winning Walmart Marketplace strategies with the Walmart team.


    Written by: Jonathan Herman

    Content marketing associate and data analyst at Salsify.